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Maximum delay to answer

Definition

What is the maximum delay to answer?

Maximum delay to answer refers to how long or how many times the customer can be on hold. 

There are times when the agent needs a couple of minutes to answer a question properly or they need to put the call on hold multiple times to resolve the issue.

Each time that the agent puts a call on hold counts toward the maximum delay to answer metric.

What is the maximum delay to answer?

Reasons why maximum delay to answer is needed

There are many reasons why a business might need to delay answering a customer inquiry. Sometimes, it’s simply not possible to provide an answer right away. 

In other cases, the answer may not be very good news, and the company wants to soften the blow. By delaying an answer, businesses can take some time to craft a response that is accurate and satisfying for customers. 

Whatever the reason, there are some important benefits to maximum delay to answer.

1. More efficient use of resources

Delaying an answer to a question can be more efficient than answering it right away. This is especially true when the delay will allow the agent to gather more information or to come up with a better response. 

By taking a little extra time, they can make sure that the response is well-informed and accurate. Additionally, delaying an answer can sometimes be the best way to manage a conversation or negotiation. 

By waiting, they can see how the other party responds and adjust their own position accordingly. All of these factors mean that there may be times when it’s advantageous to wait before answering a question.

2. Improved first-call resolution rates 

Businesses are always looking for ways to improve their first-call resolution rates. These response rates heavily depend on how the agents resolve issues on the first call. 

If the company allows them to hold calls for a reasonable amount of time, agents could improve their response rates. 

Keep in mind that in some cases, representatives need external assistance (e.g., Google search, knowledge databases, co-workers, etc.) to perform their job well.

Reasons why maximum delay to answer is needed

3. Enhanced agent productivity and morale

Businesses rely on the customer support department to provide assistance to their customers. Satisfied customers are more likely to return, resulting in increased revenue for the company. 

In order to provide quality customer service, it is important that businesses invest in the training and development of their customer support staff. 

One way to do this is by allowing agents to put customers on hold regroup, recuperate, and allow themselves to gather more data.

4. Increased customer satisfaction 

By waiting just a little bit longer to answer, businesses can actually improve customer satisfaction. Most of the time, when a customer representative holds a call, it means that they are gathering information to resolve the issue or answer the question.

There are a lot of talks these days about the importance of fast customer service. In our always-on, instant gratification society, it seems that companies that can’t provide an immediate response are at a disadvantage. 

Delaying the answer to a question can be an incredibly powerful tool when it comes to giving customers the right answer. It gives the agent more time to process the information, figure out the options, and come up with a response that will best serve both of their interests.

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About Derek Gallimore

Derek Gallimore has been in business for 20 years, outsourcing for over eight years, and has been living in Manila (the heart of global outsourcing) since 2014. Derek is the founder and CEO of Outsource Accelerator, and is regarded as a leading expert on all things outsourcing.